Hello everyone and welcome to my PWG Battle of Los Angeles Stage 2 review! After one hell of a show the night before, this has a lot to live up to. However, phenomenal matches on paper, like Ricochet vs. Zack Sabre Jr. or the Guerrilla Warfare match, make me confident this can match the quality of last night’s incredible show. Anyway, you don’t want to hear me ramble, so lets get to the review!
This show is commentated by Excalibur and his usual revolving door of guests. Our first matchup is…
Rich Swann vs. Marty Scurll – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
I had a lot of fun with this match, and it was the perfect opener. While there wasn’t much story, other than Scurll getting the heat, both guys showed tons of personality and Scurll was showcased. While Rich Swann got some cool moments (like the moment in the picture above), both guys realized that Scurll was the new guy here and had to be put over. Scurll showed his great, fun character throughout, and had incredible crispness when he strung multiple spots together. That was great, and Scurll looked great throughout. Overall, this wasn’t an overly complex match. It was one guy getting showcased while the other did his best not to be an afterthought. That created a supremely fun matchup.
Next up is the Battle of Los Güeros Del Cielo…
Angélico vs. Jack Evans – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
I loved this. This was not a MOTYC, but the comedy, spots, and some crispness was all I needed here. Lets start with the comedy. It was goddamn gold. Evans was just a douchey loudmouth stoner, who berated everyone in the building just about. He also did some insane spots that were based on comedy, like a sequence that could have been lifted from the movie Drunken Master, which was insane. Throughout the match these two were freaking ninjas, with insane kick sequences that were works of art. I loved it. They also did more standard pro wrestling spots, with big spots and flips galore. Honestly, if you want a lot of flippy shit, this is a match for you. The only real gripe is that Jack botched a few spots, but that isn’t too big. Honestly, a match that can get me to laugh as hard as I did during this, and had spots that left my jaw on the floor multiple times is a recommendation without a doubt.
Evans says everyone is full of shit, since he read the comments over the years. He says he is going to win and bashes the “hardcore internet fans”. 5*. Next up is…
Timothy Thatcher vs. Chris Hero – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Man, this match ruled. There is so much for me to talk about I don’t even know where to start. I mean, anyone who thought Thatcher was just a slow, grappling guy cannot say that anymore. This was a manly man match to the umpteenth degree, and kind of reminded me of the manly man matches of BJW’s strong division. They just beat the shit out of each other and threw strikes as hard of he could. This ferocity was blended with and transitioned perfectly into some submissions and grappling, which was great. On top of this awesomeness, the story was fantastic in this match. The layers were phenomenal, and they played off their previous wars in other companies, like EVOLVE. The story was both guys were striking really hard, and neither wanted to get KO-ed first, but there is so much more than that. Hero couldn’t KO Thatcher in this match with elbows and Thatcher didn’t even drop to an elbow, so Hero went to different routes, like piledrivers, to get the job done. Also, in EVOLVE, Thatcher was able to win because he made the match more his style, and was able to wear down Hero up to the finish. In this match, however, Hero made this match more of a strikefest and won because the match was in his wheelhouse. That is brilliant, but the best part was the great performances of both Thatcher and Hero. Hero played to the crowd fantastically and made them invested from the onset, but Thatcher was a real star. Not only did he show insane amounts of intensity, he also played to the crowd, which is not usually seen from him. On top of that, he sold like an all-star, to the point where he sold a piledriver like he got a stinger and sold like he lost feeling in his arm. That is brilliance. All in all, this is a brilliant piece of professional wrestling.
Our next match is a change of pace with…
Aerostar & Fénix vs. Pentágon Jr. & Drago
This was a pretty darn fun match, and a good way to showcase the new AAA wrestlers. All these guys went all out and tried to impress, which reminds me of the tag match on Night 1 of All Star Weekend 9. There wasn’t much story, and it was essentially all these guys going out and trying to make a name for themselves, which is good. All these men, with the exception of one, were crisp and made the match just that more enjoyable. The weakest link, though, was Aerostar by far, as he botched two or three times after having a botch ridden match the night before. I’m not saying he should never be in PWG again, but the botches do detract from the match. Pentágon, however, still remains the star of the new AAA wrestlers, as he has such a presences and aura of danger around him. You do not want to fuck with Pentágon. Now, I do not want to shortchange Fenix and Drago, as they were both supremely impressive, but Pentágon was just great as usual. Overall, this was very good, and I had a good time watching it.
Our next match is an interesting one. It is…
Tommy End vs. Drew Gulak – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
This was a great change in style after a night mostly comprised of fast paced matches. While this wasn’t on the level of some of the previous matches, it was definitely an asset to the show, and helped the pacing of the show. The story of the match was Gulak trying to avoid End’s strikes through his usual grappling and End trying to actually get in strikes. This allows the match to start off slow and methodical in the best way, but then pick up down the stretch. While Gulak’s grappling is exceptional in its smoothness and logic, the strike sequences down the stretch were welcome. After half of the match being great but slow, the strikes allowed End to do what he does best, and Gulak to show a totally different side of himself. The only glaring issue is the insanely flat finish, which was completely out of nowhere. As I said, this was not a great match on its own, but it helps the pacing of the show immensely and is a solid match unto itself.
Next up is one of my most highly anticipated matches of the first round, which is…
Mike Bailey vs. Drew Galloway – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Man, this freaking match. It is essentially the perfect dynamic, with a huge bully in Galloway and the perfect fiery underdog with tons of heart in Bailey. Galloway was just the best heel and actually got the crowd to boo him during a fantastic match. That is a testament to Galloway’s amazing heel skills and Bailey’s wonderful work as a babyface. In this match, Galloway just disrespected and decimated the most over face in PWG, and the crowd was irate as Bailey got beaten down. The beating Galloway dished out was incredible, and some of his chops and clubbing forearms were just brutal. To make him even more hateable, Galloway completely insulted Bailey by being incredibly cocky, and even flipping him off. Bailey played the perfect foil to the unlikeable Galloway, and showed fire and tons of heart, forcing Galloway to pay for his cockiness when he underestimated Bailey. While Galloway was just killing Bailey throughout, Bailey kept fighting back with some great kicks, strikes, and dives. I mean, there isn’t much more to ask for. Perfect, uncomplicated psychology, great, fun action, some freaking molten nearfalls down the stretch, and perfect characters make this match a truly special experience.
Next up is an indie dream match you can only see in PWG. It is…
Ricochet vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Another great match on a killer show filler with great matches. Unlike most Sabre matches, Sabre isn’t the one dictating the pace; it was Ricochet. Ricochet showed a completely different side of himself, using his technical ability along with his strength and some agility to escape Sabre. This whole match was Ricochet trying to escape Sabre on the mat, and find a way to finish him off. This allows Ricochet to be more methodical, with a heavier focus on story and character. The big motif in this match was Ricochet constantly getting cocky with Sabre, which allowed Sabre to get a submission or work over the arm. By Ricochet constantly making mistakes, it allowed Sabre the opportunity to get back into the match. Once Sabre got himself back into the match, it was a somewhat like a game of cat and mouse, with Sabre trying to wrestle Ricochet onto the mat. This lead to some brilliant sequences and incredible reversals. Overall, this was a very fun match that told a rock solid story. It serves as more support to the argument that these guys are two of the best in the world.
Now, it is finally time for the MAIN EVENT!
Mount Rushmore 2.0 (The Young Bucks & Super Drgaon) vs. Biff Busick, Andrew Everett, & Trevor Lee – Guerrilla Warfare Match
Oh my god, this was the third craziest match I have ever seen, only behind the main event of PWG SEVEN and the ladder match from Threemendous III. I mean, when I usually say non-stop action in a match, there are usually breaks in between spots and some resting. This match was as close to non-stop action as humanly possible, with only one real period of resting ten minutes in. Everything else was just insane, and very worthy of the comparison I made to the other great Guerrilla Warfare matches. There were chairs, tables, thumbtacks, dives, and more, making this a violent chapter in this feud. Every single one of these guys went all out with both the spots, and the hatred, so this felt like a spotfest and a blood feud all at the same time. The thing that really takes this match from great to MOTYC though is how evil Mount Rushmore 2.0 was in this match. They tortured the faces, mocked everything in sight, pissed Excalibur off, and beat up the referees. All of that built how despicable these heels are, and proves to me why PWG has the best feuds in wrestling. Thre is no need for 20 minute promos, all there needs to be is a match that tells stories and builds characters. Speaking of telling stories, the way they played off some previous rivalries in PWG history, and payed homage to older matches was nice, and made this match even better. This match is the second MOTYC on this show, and is completely different from the previous one. With quality like this, how is PWG not the best in the world?
The show goes off the air with Excalibur hinting at potentially having another match, and saying he wants Mount Rushmore 2.0 gone. Rushmore jump him, beat him down, but Chris Hero makes the save and drives Rushmore away. They then re-enter, jump Hero, beat him down, and tell everyone to suck it. Close Curtain.
This is one of the best shows I have ever seen. I can’t think of many better; probably only Wrestle Kingdom 9 and AAA When Worlds Collide, and I’m not entirely sure about When Worlds Collide. This show had nothing below 3*, 5 matches hovering around 4*, 4 matches that were 4*+, and two, yes TWO, MOTYC. It really doesn’t get better than this. Great wrestling, amazing spots, perfect storyline advancement, and wonderful characters make this show more than just great pure wrestling. This is pretty much as good as possible without everything being near 4*, or a show having two 5* matches. PWG is the best in the world, with great feuds, great characters, and great matches. We have one more BOLA show left, but BOLA 2015 is already one of the best tournaments of all time.
Overall Rating: ****½
So that was the PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2015 Stage 2 review. We have one more BOLA 2015 review left, which will hopefully be done in the next week or so. After that, expect me to return to WCW & NWA for Starrcade 1990. There also may be a RMR out soon, as I have some really fun reviews written for it. Now, if you want more of my writing or other great wrestling opinions, check out Free Pro Wrestling, which is a world class wrestling site I am lucky to write for. Other than that, contact me and keep up with the latest MJTW news by checking out my contacts, which are here or in the sidebar to the right. With all that said, thank you for watching and I hope to see you next time!